MEMPHIS, TENN. – What’s 68 pounds, 3 feet tall and less than one week old? Our baby camel! The Memphis Zoo is pleased to announce a camel calf was born Thursday, June 12, after a gestation of 13 months.
The calf, a male, was born to parents “Mona Lisa” and “Solomon.” Mother and calf are doing well and can already be seen on exhibit at the Camel Excursion area at the east end of the Zoo. The calf has not yet been named. Mona Lisa was pregnant when she arrived last year and Solomon is currently in Missouri.
“Mother and baby seem to be doing fine,” Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs said. “Similar to giraffes, the most important things we look for are the calf’s ability to stand as well as nurse. He is already walking and has nursed several times.”
The gestation of camels ranges from 12 to 14 months. Within 30 minutes of birth, a baby camel can walk beside its mother. Calves usually spend up to 18 months nursing from their mothers.
There are two species of camels – Bactrian and dromedary. Mother and baby are both dromedary. This species, sometimes called Arabian camels, are distinguished by their one hump, while Bactrian camels have two.
About the Memphis Zoo’s Camels
The Memphis Zoo currently has four camels in its Camel Excursions exhibit. These camels are all expertly trained by Camels Unlimited, a family-owned company that has specialized in camel rides for more than two generations. Mona Lisa, the mother, is a painted camel. There are approximately 100 painted camels in the world. The Memphis Zoo has had camels in its collection off and on since 1965. The Camel Excursion attraction has been open since 2012.
About Camels Unlimited
Camels Unlimited is a Washington state based organization owned by Jessica Miller and Jesse Kearn. Their goal is to provide a fun, educational experience and to teach conservation to everyone they meet. The camel rides have been a part of the family business for three generations.
About the Memphis Zoo
The Memphis Zoo, located in Memphis, Tenn., is home to more than 3,500 animals representing over 500 different species. Recently named as one of the top zoos in the country by TripAdvisor® and USA Today, the Memphis Zoo has completed over $93 million in renovation and expansion since the early 1990s. The Zoo's animal inhabitants reside in one-of-a-kind exhibitry, such as Once Upon A Farm, Commercial Appeal Cat Country, Primate Canyon, Animals of the Night, Northwest Passage, Teton Trek and CHINA - home to giant pandas YaYa and Le Le. The Zoo was founded in 1906 and resides on 70 acres in the middle ofOverton Park. The Memphis Zoo is an accredited member of the Association ofZoos and Aquariums. Memphis Zoo, YaYa and Le Le are trademarks of the Memphis Zoo.